At the start of another summer vacation, I find myself once again with a little too much time on my hands. Seeing as how this is the summer of my junior year in college (counting years, not credits), this overabundance of time isn’t really a good thing. It always feels a bit strange–small part relief, small part dread, small part of a lot of emotions–to be back at home for long stretches of time. Perhaps one of the biggest differences is that it’s not as easy to keep myself occupied in relatively more ‘productive’ ways. At college, it’s easy to just head out of the dorm and go do anything. At home, going to any places farther away than the library requires driving, and there aren’t really too many places I feel like going nowadays anyway.
After moving the majority of my things home last Saturday, I went back to Rutgers Monday morning to finish up a few things. Minutes after arriving on campus, I already felt like I was doing more things than I had all weekend at home. I called multiple people to discuss a variety of things; I went places to do things–I kept myself occupied. At home it seems so easy to just stagnate, for lack of a better word. It’s so easy to just fall into a mindless routine of, I dunno, playing games for no reason, or…I guess doing anything without an end result in mind. It just doesn’t work, though, because lately I’ll catch myself and try to force myself to do something more useful, to varying degrees of success. For instance, earlier I pulled out my Chinese textbook from the class I’d taken this year in an attempt to begin (re)learning some of the materials that we’d ostensibly been learning throughout the past semester. I was able to work for around an hour with limited interruptions, but now the same few pages sits near me, waiting for me to return to them.
I was telling myself today that there were a few things I should do within the next week or so that should be fairly easily doable. I’d been meaning to finish “Art of War” for a while–so that’s on the list. Working on studying Chinese–well, the time I’d just spent earlier studying Chinese has basically been more time that I’ve spent on studying than almost anything I’d done at college, which is obviously a bad thing. Hmm…I think this has started to drag on so I’ll try to switch tack in the hopes of temporarily revitalizing my own writing, and do some more introspection/thinking as opposed to dry narrating.
Ah, yes. At some point these last few days, I was looking up some Buddhist quotes. I don’t remember what prompted me to do so (oh yeah I saw one quote come up on this iPod application of mine). But there were some quotes within the bunch that I discovered that really seemed important to me in various ways, whether in their insight/truthfulness, or whatever. I had various thoughts on them–let me put a few of those down.
The first quote I saw, that led me to the other ones, was this: “You will not be punished for your anger. You will be punished by your anger.” It strikes me as so true especially because I can think of so many examples, some firsthand, of how that works. A few hours earlier, I asked my father about it, and though he didn’t think of any that exactly matched, he told me one that had a similar meaning: ” “, meaning basically that the fires of anger burn away all the good things that one has done before…something like that. Yeah, anger…that’s a whole post, maybe even series of posts, by itself. Some other time, then.
I think I’ll just list off the other quotes that had an impression on me so that I don’t really need to list all the impressions I had.
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
“The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”
“In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves.”
“To be idle is a short road to death and to be diligent is a way of life; foolish people are idle, wise people are diligent.”
“The whole secret of existance is to have no fear. Never fear what will become of you, depend on no one. Only the moment you reject all help are you freed.”
“The only real failure in life is not to be true to the best one knows.”
Actually, I can’t resist putting in a few thoughts about the above quotes. For one, I’m not sure why certain quotes have an impact on me. There’s this one quote from Oscar Wilde that says, “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation”, which springs to mind whenever I wonder about the effect that quotes have on me. For whatever combination of reasons, I am the sort who can’t resist a good quote. That’s not to say I’ll go around quoting it, but I do internalize the quotes that truly affect me, making them a part of my daily life. In that way, I guess I could say certain quotes have in ways changed my life. The quote from Meg Cabot about fear, for instance, changed my outlook on it, and then the quote above from the Buddha regarding fear also gives me another opinion on the way that one might deal with fear. I think I feel that within some of the quotes I see is some kind of answer that might help me do whatever it is I need to do. I realize that some of the answers are right in front of me, but an array of answers doesn’t really help if I don’t have the right question, and also the right methods too.
I dunno. It appears that this post is going to be jumping around on a few subjects, which might actually be a common condition amongst the posts I make nowadays.
Time. Goes by quickly. Wasted too much of it already.
I’m not entirely in a mood I’d prefer to be in when writing. I think I’ll continue another time. And I’ll try something else until I either fall asleep or…whatever.